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May 15, 2021

Driver who killed family has sentence extended

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A drug-taking driver who killed a father and his two children near Casino has had his sentence extended after an appeal to the NSW Court of Appeals.

Malcolm Joseph Harris was on parole for an 18-month unlicensed driving sentence when he crashed into the Zagar family car in June 2013 as they waited for a school bus.

The crash caused the death of caused the deaths of 28-year-old Shaun Zagar and his children Kaleb, 6, and Zara, 5.

Harris had two children in his car and one received a brain injury, a broken arm and a fractured jaw.

The court heard Harris had taken methadone, marijuana and valium prior to driving, but later blamed the collision on an epileptic fit.

The NSW Court of Appeals determined that the original sentence, which would have seen Harris eligible for parole after three years and three months, was inadequate.

Harris was re-sentenced to seven and a half years prison, with a non-parole period of five years.

He will not be eligible for release until February 14, 2019.

The dead children’s grandfather, Andrew Zager and his wife Julie spent the past year fighting to get Harris’s sentence appealed.

More than 10,000 people signed a petition calling for Harris to be resentenced, and Mr Zagar told APN media that politicians Kevin Hogan, Thomas George, John Williams and Brad Hazzard had also lobbied for an appeal.


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